Sarasota Catering Company
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Party Planning Guide

How Much Do I Need?

Hors d'Oeuvres

The number of hors d'oeuvres to be presented is proportional to the length of social time allotted before the meal/event/meeting. For evening events, it usually varies from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Hors d'oeuvres pieces should be no more than two bites in size.

  • In the late morning or noontime with a meal following, plan for 1 - 3 pieces per person. Use lighter types of food such as vegetables, cheese or filled puff pastry.
  • For evening cocktails when no dinner is offered, plan 10 - 15 pieces per person. Use a mix of substantial food types presented in bite sizes.
  • When evening cocktails are to be followed by dinner, plan 3 - 5 pieces per person per hour. Use lighter foods such as vegetables, cheese or a protein you are not serving at dinner.
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  • Plan for 3 beverages per person.
  • There are 5 glasses of wine in a 750 ml bottle, each containing 5 ounces. Wine glasses should never be filled all the way. A technique to practice in serving wine is to measure 5 ounces of water and pour it into a wine glass to see how much it fills your glass. You'll then know how much wine to pour during the party.
  • One 750 ml bottle of liquor yields approximately 16 servings of 1½ ounces each. A jigger measures 1½ ounces while a shot glass measures 1 ounce. You should instruct your bartender how you want the drinks mixed: using a jigger exactly, loosely, or pouring free hand. You will get the most out of the bottle of liquor if the bartender uses a measure.
  • When using 8 ounce glasses, plan for 4 glasses from each 1 liter bottle.
  • You can assume approximately 4 ounces of mixer per cocktail. The amount of mixer needed is difficult to estimate because it depends on the glass size, the amount of ice put into each glass and how heavily the liquor is poured.
  • Plan on 1 pound of ice per person for drinks.
  • Use 1½ cups of coffee per person as a planning guide. Remember to include sugar, artificial sweetener and cream.
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Rarely are hors d'oeuvres served at breakfast. Plan to serve 2 beverages per person. They may include juice, coffee, tea, champagne, mimosas, screwdrivers or bloody marys.

A breakfast entrée is usually 5 ounces, with 2 -3 side dishes (4 oz each), bread or starch, and a dessert, such as fruit.

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At lunch, hors d'oeuvres are optional, but if you do serve them, plan 2 - 4 pieces per person. Plan to serve 2 beverages per person. These can include juice, coffee, tea, soda, beer, wine or mixed drinks. Luncheon entrées are usually 5 ounces with 2 - 3 side dishes (4 oz each). Bread and dessert are part of the usual fare.

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Depending on the number of dinner courses being served, 3 - 5 hors d'oeuvres are planned for each person along with beverages such as soda, sparkling water, beer, wine, or mixed drinks. Wine, tea and water with a slice of lemon are offered with dinner. Coffee can either be served with dessert or later. After-dinner drinks such as cognac, whiskey or liqueur are optional. The dinner menu includes appetizer, soup or salad, a 6 - 8 ounce entrée, 2 - 3 side dishes and a dessert, either sweet or cheeses with fruit. Include bread and butter preferably made with fresh herbs. Optionally, a sorbet may be served between courses to cleanse the palate; a nut, truffle or candy tray follows dessert.

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Sarasota Catering Company wins the Knot Best of Weddings 2010-2016
Sarasota Catering Company joins the Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame
Sarasota Catering Company wins Weddingwire Couple's Choice Award 2010-2016